The Times' Jacques Steinberg reports on Dan Rather's $70 million civil lawsuit vs. CBS in connection to his dismissal following 2004's Memogate. Steinberg is dead-on when he writes:
Using tools unavailable to him as a reporter — including the power of subpoena and the threat of punishment against witnesses who lie under oath — he has unearthed evidence that would seem to support his assertion that CBS intended its investigation, at least in part, to quell Republican criticism of the network.
The Times notes that among the panelists considered to be on CBS's "independent" panel to investigate the network's reporting were Rush Limbaugh, Matt Drudge, Ann Coulter, Pat Buchanan and Roger Ailes.
The Times also mentioned a news nugget that CF actually broke btw, that CBS execs were concerned that former GOP senator Warren Rudman, if selected for the "independent" panel, would not "mollify the right."
Here's what the Times left out, though. And all this information, which we noted last week, has come to light thanks to Rather's lawsuit, which most media players mocked him for when he first filed:
*CBS reached out to "GOP folks" prior to assembling its "independent" panel and took their temperature on who should oversee the work.
*CBS tapped GOP attorney Dick Thornburgh, who enjoyed close relations with the Bush family and served in the prior Bush administration, to head up the "independent" panel.
*When Thornburgh sent detailed questions to the White House for Bush to answer about his indifferent military service, Thornbugh was told by Bush aide Dan Bartlett that Bush would not cooperate. The "independent" panel dropped the queries and made no mention of Bush's lack of cooperation.
*After the "independent" report was issued, CBS rewarded the White House stonewalling by hiring Bartlett to be an on-air news analysis.